How the falls in Sydney and Melbourne home prices compare to downturns in the past

Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Sydney and Melbourne home prices have been now falling for well over a year, and are accelerating.

According to CoreLogic, prices in Sydney fell by 1.3% in January, extending the slide over the past three months to 4.5%. In Melbourne, prices fell by a larger 1.6% last month, leaving the drop since October last year at 4%.

Combined with earlier declines, Sydney’s median price has now fallen by 12.3% from the record peak set in the middle of 2017. For Melbourne, where prices started falling later than Sydney, median prices have fallen by a smaller 8.7% from the highs.

So how do those declines rank compared to downturns seen in the past?

The charts below from the Commonwealth Bank have the answer.

Here’s how Sydney’s current downturn ranks.

Commonwealth Bank

And this is how the pullback in Melbourne compares.

Commonwealth Bank

In Sydney, the current downturn is now the second-largest since reliable records were first kept, only exceeded by that seen in 1982.

Melbourne’s downturn still hasn’t surpassed that seen during the GFC, although, given recent trends, that appears likely to change in the coming months, leaving only that seen in 1989 as a larger fall in prices.

Combined with declines in other markets, especially Perth and Darwin where prices have been falling for around five years, Australia’s median home price has now fallen 7.8% in this cycle, exceeding the 7.6% drop seen during the GFC.

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